Challenge accepted!

At the end of our July TeleView, I threw down the challenge to Christo, to (re)plant the incredibly rocky block adjacent to our Tasting Room. This block had previously been the origin site for some of our best Chardonnay. If you know Christo, you also know that this is the type of challenge he relishes, … Continued

The Birds and the Bees

Mid-winter is upon us, bringing our fair share of rain and cold units, which are essential for the vine’s dormancy. Temperatures in the valley have been variable, with the cold days interspersed with warmer, springlike days. More cold units are needed, so we are happy for winter to continue – and hopefully bring a few … Continued

London Calling

The world is – finally – opening back up, and it seems everyone is again travelling. It was definitely a busy month of traveling for the Oldenburg team: in early June, Vanessa, Nic and I hosted a week of events at 67 Pall Mall in London for our private clients, trade partners and media. It … Continued

Number 8

The number 8 has always been a lucky number for me. Years ago – when we lived in Singapore – my wife and I were deciding about moving to a new house. I was at the office, and asked a colleague about moving to a new area, and whether he thought it would be a … Continued

Cold Soak

With harvest wrapping up towards the end of March, and all the juice happily in the cellar, one could be forgiven for thinking, ‘jobs right – cool bananas’! This would, however, be a mistake. In April, the real work and cellar magic begins. Behind the closed doors of the Cellar, the cold soaks, pushdowns, and … Continued

Breakfast of Champions

During March, the days were long, with early starts to make the final picking decisions. Harvesting started off early enough in the mornings to ensure the grapes remained cool and fresh – and not breaking the cold chain, by placing the harvested grapes directly into our cool room, and chilling them down to 4°C. Every … Continued

…and there are weeks where decades happen

Whilst reading up on my Russian history this month (in an attempt to make some sense of Putin’s Ukrainian misadventure), I came across the following quote by Vladimir Lenin: “There are decades where nothing happens, and there are weeks where decades happen.”.   In 2011, I was privileged to do a vertical tasting of a … Continued

Greenlight

In Matthew McConaughey’s memoir, Greenlights, he tells his story through amusing anecdotes and lessons learned, which lead to ‘greenlights’ that allowed him to move forward to the next adventure. Probably my favourite book of the year. Earlier this year, (whilst recovering from Covid), I tuned into Netflix’s Drive To Survive, a behind the scenes documentary about … Continued

Whirlwind

Every October, The Homestead dam is surrounded by a flurry of activity from a returning population of weaver birds. The male weaver birds build nests on the reeds, and the date palm. These specific locations allow them to hang the nests over the water, protecting the eggs and the young hatchlings from predators (specifically the … Continued

Top Dog

For many years my grandmother sent me an aerogramme (a thin, lightweight piece of foldable and gummed blue paper, ready postage stamped, for writing a letter) each September for my birthday. I remember she would say she knew it was my birthday as the Piet-My-Vrou (Red Chested Cuckoo) would sing as soon as the weather … Continued

Goodbye Gravel Potholed Road

Unlike the protagonist of the 1973 Elton John classic ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road’, we are not looking to hide away from the glamour of being a superstar. Instead, we’ve merely realized that losing our visitors in potholes is simply not good business! To avoid this pitfall, we are thrilled to tell you that – as … Continued

Elephants in the Room

The mountains in our valley have now received their first snowfall. The mercury has fallen, and there is a distinct chill in the air. For the wineries in the Cape though, it is more a case of being in the Deep Freeze. South Africa had, for the fifth time since Covid began, banned the sale … Continued

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